Losing his punch?

Published: January 22, 2012
Stand-up comedian Danish Ali delivers his classic jokes mixed with some disappointing videos

Stand-up comedian Danish Ali delivers his classic jokes mixed with some disappointing videos . PHOTO: KADIR KHAN


In the midst of rising political tensions in the country and the occasional unrest in the city of lights, humour is the need of the day. This is why, whenever and wherever zealous Karachiites get a rare opportunity to laugh out loud, they always turn up to see the show. Such was the case with stand-up comedian Danish Ali’s latest performance at the Pakistan American Cultural Centre (PACC) on January 20 which attracted a full house but left the audience with a  bittersweet taste.   

Ali, who is a doctor by qualification and comedian by profession, has retained his strong following even after his departure from comedian Saad Haroon’s line-up. Despite the fact that Ali is immensely talented and some people even rate his jokes better than his comedic contemporaries, his latest show left some of his biggest fans unimpressed.

Comprising of a mix of short videos as well as the best of Ali’s stand-up comedy, the show seemed repetitive with only a pun or two thrown on recent subjects such as the Veena Malik controversy.

The show started with a short video called “Chooha Man”, which was about a man, who had just interrupted a major drug deal, dressed up as a mouse. After dragging the absurd plot, the video finally ended with an uninteresting climax.

Once the video ended, the comedian dressed in his trademark tie and formal pants ensemble made his way to the stage and received a warm welcome from the audience who were anxiously waiting for the real act to begin. Soon enough, the auditorium was echoing with laughter at Ali’s take on Batman in Pakistan and the local population control campaigns, which were more than just hilarious.

However, all these jokes were old and the people who had already seen Danish Ali live before were utterly disappointed as they could easily figure out the punchlines. On the contrary, people who have seen him perform for the first time  were chuckling over the jokes the comedian cracked even after the show.

The show concluded with two more videos which included one called “The Misunderstood Orphan” and another one based on the infamous Zohair Toru followed by some bloopers during the making of these videos.

Although the concept behind these videos was strong, the execution and performances could have been much better. Some of the audience members thought the show could’ve survived without the videos, while others opined that the show was still funny overall.

The obvious lesson from this show is that all the good stand-up comedians should realise that fans usually remember each and every pun, so it’s best to invest time into coming up with interesting and new material every time.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Alina A
    Jan 22, 2012 - 11:45AM

    i thought the show was really amazinggg, i haven’t laughed that hard in forever! Thank you Danish for a wonderful night!
    and as for the repetitive bit, comedians all over the world repeat their acts over and over, cause it takes years to write their material and only about what, 200-300 people can really see it at a time? also i might add the show was being promoted as a mix of all of his old material and man is it great stuff!


  • Ali
    Jan 22, 2012 - 12:16PM

    I think u didn’t do any pre-event research and just ended up at the show.
    His poster and Facebook page said: “One hour of all his material (that he’s been performing for the last 5 years + new stuff)”
    So I knew I will hear his old jokes mostly and that’s exactly what I went for!!


  • Hamad
    Jan 22, 2012 - 12:47PM

    I don’t understand this article i was at his show and my jaws hurt from laughing. As someone who saw him for the first time i can honestly say he is the best standup comedian in Pakistan.


  • ramees
    Jan 22, 2012 - 1:06PM

    I went to the show with a bunch of my friends and it was nonstop laughter throughout! Some of us had seen his performances before but we knew that it was going to be ‘all his best material’ and so obviously, jokes would repeat. my question to the reviewer is why didn’t you know? Unless you had already decided the review would be negative even before you wrote it. In which case details like all his best material wouldn’t really matter, right? I’ve read a few other reviews by this reviewer, and have generally found them negative. That doesn’t say much about the reviewer, who should know that criticism can both be negative AND positive. This review excludes imperative details like how much the audience actually enjoyed themselves and laughed at every single joke and includes details like what he was wearing. Relevance? The title of the review misrepresents the act since it would only be applicable if he had intended to perform all new material. I’m sorry, its hard for me to take this reviewer seriously since I find him to be mostly negative and now ill-researched. I recommend, dear reviewer, that you sit out on his next performance and do your research properly, maybe look up how frequently other big comedians repeat their acts. All said in good faith!Recommend

  • blah
    Jan 22, 2012 - 4:03PM

    Its typical of Tribune to write reviews without any background research on events with a very obvious bias towards some. They should probably quit giving reviews or have some fresh perspective injected.


  • Nadia W
    Jan 22, 2012 - 5:33PM

    okay so this article is just absurd and a misrepresentation of the actual show. And what’s even more absurd is the title of this article. my husband and i were present and needless to say the audience was in stitches the entire time. We’re definitely looking forward to his next performance!


  • Zehba
    Jan 22, 2012 - 6:01PM

    “However, all these jokes were old and the people who had already seen Danish Ali live before were utterly disappointed as they could easily figure out the punchlines.”

    This show was a part of the series ‘Danish Ali Live’ so why would you expect any different content than the one in the previous show??


  • Penny Lane
    Jan 22, 2012 - 8:22PM

    The people who went to the show already knew it will have old material and it was advertised that way
    I dont understand why this review is so negative because the people at the show were laughing non-stop and everyone loved his jokes I dont even know why it matters if it was old or new..the main point was that it made everyone LAUGH and thats what hes aiming at right?

    Cut Danish Ali some slack this show was one of his solo shows he just started out..

    I personally cant wait for his next show because I can seriously see some potential in this guy and Im really glad we have people like him who took the initiative.. making people laugh is tough..and Danish seems like a pro at it


  • to all danish fans.
    Jan 24, 2012 - 12:18PM

    Couldnt help notice the comments. In a “review” the reviewer is entitled to his opinion. Guess the reviewer here had better taste than most of you.

    I attended the show and only the high school crowd with no taste was laughing. Pretty mediocre fare overall and the quality of videos was quite low.


  • ali
    Jan 24, 2012 - 5:09PM

    @ to all danish ali fans.
    how judgemental!!
    So just like this author, YOU have been given the authority to decide “who has no taste” in the audience!!


  • Seth Saab
    Jan 24, 2012 - 6:31PM

    Wierd review, i was at the show too with my friends and we have been repeating his jokes for days, especially the batman one. It was definately very funny. It’s clear that this article is so heavily opinionated it has no business being in a newspaper.


  • Junaid
    Jan 27, 2012 - 2:35AM

    I was at this show too and am all too well understanding that this is a severely biased article. We laughed with the rest of the audience till the end of the show at this genius Danish Ali. He needs an award. My first time watching him, trust me it is original standup comedy at an international level. Am surprised he hasn’t been picked up by a tv channel abroad. Wish you the best of luck Danish Ali, Pakistan needs you.


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